^zhurnaly 0.9946

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Howdy, pilgrim! You're in the ^zhurnal — since 1999, a journal of musings on mind, method, metaphor, and matters miscellaneous — previous volume = 0.9945. Click headlines to browse, comment, or edit the ^zhurnalyWiki. Page-top links provide random mantras, tarots, unicorns, power thoughts, and meditative suggestions. For a lovely little mint-tin deck of mindfulness reminders see Open Mind OM Cards.

LOOPY - Beyond Competition


How to get past narrow fight-it-out zero-sum competition, and promote cooperation? One way is to add options that go "beyond competition" to the toolbox of ideas! Consider the rainbow-colored process flow in this LOOPY causal-cartoon, that goes from Problem Definition (red circle, "Define Goals and Challenges") through the process of decision-making:

Data → Model → Analyze → Assess → Act

Some potential interventions at various stages might include the gray-colored nodes:

(conceptual system-dynamic sketch thanks to LOOPY2, an ultralight tool for systems thinking ©2021 MITRE Corporation ...)

- Thursday, September 16, 2021 at 08:05:27 (EDT)

2021-08-26 - Breakfast Burrito Lunch

~2.2 mi @ ~18 min/mi

"Impossible Meatball Sub and Breakfast Burrito!" A sweaty lunchtime trek to the deli gets a bonus neighborhood loop while the food is prepared. Good heat-humidity training, with a bonus of Vitamin D from the summer sun!


- Wednesday, September 15, 2021 at 07:21:18 (EDT)

LOOPY - National Economy

http://zhurnaly.com/images/LOOPY/LOOPY_National-Economy_9-factors_2021-09-14.pngCausal flow diagrams can illustrate complex relationships among multiple drivers and can suggest archetypal system patterns. For instance, this cartoon of nine factors in a modern national economy shows a hypothesis about how boom-and-bust cycles might emerge. The nodes Money Supply, Interest Rates, and General Price Level appear to be in an unstable loop. In the short term the stock market tends to benefit from money supply increases – but that results in long term increases in interest rates and prices, which then hurt the stock market. It could all be part of a "Fixes that Fail" archetype.

(sketch thanks to LOOPY2, an ultralight tool for systems thinking ©2021 MITRE Corporation ...)

- Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at 06:56:18 (EDT)

2021-08-25 - Marathon Continues

~2.0 mi @ ~14 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/arty/Marathon-Continues_mural_Silver-Spring_2021-08-25.jpg"The Marathon Continues ...", says the caption under the art-mural by David Dez Zambrano aka "dezcustomz". Wednesday's jog-walk in downtown Silver Spring spies the Consulate of El Salvador and a collection of auto logos by the sidewalk. A lovely lawn poster reminds: "Apart, Yet Closer Than Ever".


- Monday, September 13, 2021 at 06:55:24 (EDT)

2021-08-24 - Lost in Washington Grove

~5.4 mi @ ~15 min/mi

"Don't fence me in!" Dead-end streets, construction sites, railroad tracks, highways, industrial parks, county police & bus facilities, high walls, and barbed wire make for an unplanned extra-long Tuesday afternoon ramble around Washington Grove. Not to mention taking wrong turns on a few trails in the woods! And it's all good, including the brushy deer paths.

(trackfile & trackfile)

- Monday, September 13, 2021 at 06:46:27 (EDT)

LOOPY - Logic

http://zhurnaly.com/images/LOOPY/LOOPY_logical-and-or-not.jpgHere's a pre-model starter cartoon of the logical implications – sufficient vs necessary, parallel vs series – behind different causal flow structures. To implement this as a "true model" may require some LOOPY extensions, and/or (not?) deep thought!

(sketch thanks to LOOPY2, an ultralight tool for systems thinking ©2021 MITRE Corporation ...)

- Sunday, September 12, 2021 at 07:23:01 (EDT)

2021-08-23 - Fenwick Branch

~3.4 mi @ ~15 min/mi

"Alley oops!" Fenwick Branch, a tributary of Rock Creek, semi-defines the northwest corner of the District of Columbia. At Shepherd Elementary School kids play soccer and run along a bright blue miniature track. A sultry Monday afternoon ramble revisits Pine Trail and "16th Odds Alley". (cf 2021-07-13 - 16th Odds Alley in the logbook)


- Saturday, September 11, 2021 at 06:09:26 (EDT)

2021-08-22 - Bump and Grind

~3.9 mi @ ~14 min/mi

"One butter croissant please!" Java Nation pastries are the best, worth a quick detour at mile ~3.5 to snag. On Beach Dr, join 🐻y for a segment of his training run. Pause at Bump & Grind to thank the Sunday morning coffee roasters for their good work. On the bridge above the train tracks glimpse a truck driving along the rails.


- Saturday, September 11, 2021 at 06:07:03 (EDT)

Reading the Book of Nature

From "NASA's New Telescope Will Show Us the Infancy of the Universe" by Rivka Galchin in The New Yorker, a beautiful concluding metaphor:

The seventeenth-century astronomer Johannes Kepler studied the physical world for the messages he felt that God had written into the Book of Nature. Galileo, in fact, had supporters inside and outside the Church. Sometimes people in power have been reluctant to acknowledge the truths that science uncovers. Each time we look farther, our universe gets larger. Or, depending on your perspective, we get smaller. Astronomers take the position–an incidentally ethical one–of being radically in favor of knowing.

Bob Williams, the former head of the Space Telescope Science Institute, grew up in a Baptist family in Southern California, one of five children. He'd wanted to be an astronomer since the seventh grade, when he received a pamphlet on astronomy in science class; he then saved his paper-route money to buy a telescope. He earned a scholarship to U.C. Berkeley and studied astronomy there. "My father didn't want me to go to college," he said. "He told me that if I went to get an education I would lose my faith. And he was right about that. We were raised to take every word in the Bible as literally true. But then I was learning about continental drift. About evolution." Williams said that he is often asked about faith. Many traditions use the term "God" to mean, basically, everything that is. In that view, the universe itself is the Book, and astronomers are reading it as it is.

(cf Edge of the Universe (1999-06-08), Seeing Stars 3 (2000-01-14), You Must Believe (2004-12-28), Gravitational Waves - Thirty Years Later (2011-07-15), Humility, Physics, and Philosophy (2011-11-13), David Schramm (2014-09-14), Feynmanisms (2019-05-06), ...)

- Friday, September 10, 2021 at 06:30:11 (EDT)

2021-08-21 - MCRRC Eastern County 8k

~4.9 mi @ ~12.5 min/mi

MCRRC Eastern County 8k Race - photo by Kira Reichmann"CAUTION tape in the middle of a race?" Yellow ribbons warn of slippery mud ahead in the Randolph Rd underpass, where recent heavy rains caused Paint Branch to flood. The MCRRC Eastern County 8k is held on a sultry Saturday morning. Knee pain is minimal – as is cardiovascular fitness!

Official result: 74th place of 82 finishers, 5/5 among males aged 65-69, chip time 1:02:13 for a significant improvement over last years' trekking-pole-assisted limp at ~17 min/mi! (cf 2020-08-02 - Eastern County 8k MCRRC Virtual Race)


- Thursday, September 09, 2021 at 07:08:26 (EDT)

LOOPY - Success to the Successful


Sometimes a tiny head start grows into an enduring advantage. In a "Success to the Successful" situation two positive feedback loops wrestle for dominance. When A gets ahead A gets more resources, which helps it move further ahead of B, which gains it still more resources – and on and on, until B is driven into bankruptcy. (Or until the model breaks down: when external factors intervene, another competitor appears, the market saturates, there's an antitrust lawsuit, technology changes, ...)

(causal-conceptional-connection-cartoon thanks to LOOPY2, an ultralight tool for systems thinking ©2021 MITRE Corporation ...)

- Wednesday, September 08, 2021 at 06:15:14 (EDT)

2021-08-20 - Round House

~3.1 mi @ ~15 min/mi

"DOWNER DRIVE? Who would ever want to live there?" Half a block of pessimism is more than enough! Friday afternoon's ramble in a new 'hood finds some eye-catching lawn art; a US flag rests within a draped lady's Grecian urn. On Bushey Dr the "Round House" was originally an architecturally innovative elementary school, then a theatre, and now is a county rec department facility. Neat shapes! (cf Round School)


- Tuesday, September 07, 2021 at 06:02:28 (EDT)

2021-08-19 - Primrose Path

~3.4 mi @ ~16.5 min/mi

"His name is Bos'n!"says the owner of a happy black dog snuffling in the woods of Rock Creek Park, near where Primrose Trail meets Valley Trail. Thursday afternoon heat and humidity are oppressive. A missing person poster asks for help; a leaf identifier chart omits poison ivy.


- Tuesday, September 07, 2021 at 05:55:56 (EDT)

LOOPY - Terminal Velocity


"Terminal Velocity" is the speed that a body falling through air approaches. Gravity pulls with a constant force proportional to mass; air resistance is the same for objects of the same size and shape, at low speed proportional to velocity. As the graph shows, denser things fall faster!

(causal-conceptional-connection-cartoon thanks to LOOPY2, an ultralight tool for systems thinking ©2021 MITRE Corporation ...)

- Monday, September 06, 2021 at 08:01:32 (EDT)

Thousand Small Sanities

Adam Gopnik – staff writer at the New Yorker, Canadian by birth, intelligent and articulate person – has written a lovely and thoughtful and frustratingly disorganized book about politics: A Thousand Small Sanities: the Moral Adventure of Liberalism.

Bottom line? Perhaps the need to be like a rhinoceros rather than a unicorn, to mention one of Gopnik's many metaphors. The world is complex and imperfect, humans are fallible, stuff happens, and we have to keep trying to do better. It's important to recognize more than one side of every issue, acknowledge limitations, and have empathy for others. Sharing is nicer than hoarding. Absolutism, on either Left or Right, brings trouble. "Grown-up people can count to two."

There's goodness aplenty in A Thousand Small Sanities – glittering asides, philosophical allusions, captivating mini-profiles of John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor, George Eliot and George Lewes, Adam Smith and David Hume, Charles Darwin, Michel de Montaigne, and many more. What there isn't, alas, is much structure to the arguments. Maybe that's a self-referential meta-comment on "liberalism" itself? More likely it's a sign of passion on the author's part (or haste on the publisher's). An index in the back and a roadmap in the front might have made the book more practical, though less poetic. A modern On Liberty it's not.

(cf review and commentary in The Guardian, Wikipedia; cf. Worth of a State (2008-04-02), Secular Conscience (2009-02-17), ...)

- Sunday, September 05, 2021 at 07:09:18 (EDT)

2021-08-18 - Green Humor

~3.6 mi @ ~21 min/mi

"A golfer is about to putt when he sees a funeral procession on the road nearby ...", says 🐻y, telling a classic golf joke as the Twins walk past the Sligo nine-hole course. A gibbous moon peeks between clouds low in the south. Shirts are sweat-soaked on a warm and hyper-humid Wednesday evening. Puddles decorate the pathway and mangy deer retreat into the underbrush. "United States of America" says a lawn sign, and "All Colors - All Cultures - All Creeds - All Sexes - All Work - All Ages - All Sizes - All Types - Together We Will Thrive", capped with a ❤️.


- Saturday, September 04, 2021 at 05:39:03 (EDT)

LOOPY - Deception


To Deceive, one may try to Conceal (hide, camouflage) or Lie (make up something) or Exaggerate (amplify something truthful but irrelevant):

(This causal-conceptional-connection-cartoon was sketched using LOOPY2, an ultralight tool for systems thinking ©2021 MITRE Corporation ...)

- Friday, September 03, 2021 at 16:55:14 (EDT)

2021-08-15 - Barry Birthday

~4.0 mi @ ~14.0 min/mi

"Happy Birthday! Run like the Wind!" 🤖 rolls down the car window and shouts as 🐻y dashes across the road at the stoplight, already on mile 4 of his 16 mile day. Sunday morning is cool and humid as the Twins ramble westward. A lawn decorated with Quinceañera signage reminds them to "Sparkle Every Day!" After a couple of miles on hilly Plyers Mill Road they part ways at the top of a steep hill above KenGar. The solo return trek uncovers a new cut-through between dead-end streets.


- Friday, September 03, 2021 at 05:34:04 (EDT)

2021-08-14 - Lost Gnome

~5.2 mi @ ~23 min/mi

"Your Boston Qualifying Time is a bit over 4 hours now," 🤖 tells 🐻y, "so if you just run a few minutes per mile faster at next month's marathon, you've got it!"

"Yes, but wouldn't that make all the slower runners feel bad when I crush their hopes?" he notes, unselfishly. A hyper-humid Saturday morning takes the Twins to the track, where they dodge geese and limit themselves to one lap at something slower than world record pace. Iced coffee is courtesy 🔥, with a mega-GPS glitch inside Starbucks. The return trip discovers new art including a lawn gnome being abducted by aliens. Above Sligo Creek blessed Mary holds a chain of summer flowers. A scramble up a brushy hillside enables the photo op.


- Thursday, September 02, 2021 at 06:20:42 (EDT)

LOOPY - Pachinko Probability Distribution


Consider a simplified pachinko-like pinball machine: drop a ball at the top of the pyramid, and give it a 50-50 chance of ricocheting left or right as it descends. By the time it gets to the bottom it likely will be somewhere near the middle – but not always. This LOOPY model simulates the situation. As the lines on the "Variable Dynamics" graph show, probability starts out concentrated in the center and diffuses outward to form a Pascal's Triangle shape, 1-4-6-4-1 in the case of four layers. In probability that's called a Binomial Distribution and describes how to combine independent identical choices, like tossing four coins. If you flip them 16 times, on the average you'll get all heads once, three heads plus a tail four times, two heads and two tails six times, etc. 1-4-6-4-1!

(LOOPY2 is an ultralight tool for systems thinking ©2021 MITRE Corporation; cf Human Diffusion (2000-01-19), Combinatorial Interference (2003-09-10), Normal Distribution (2008-04-26), ...)

- Wednesday, September 01, 2021 at 07:30:49 (EDT)

2021-08-10 - Washington Grove

~3.5 mi @ ~16.3 min/mi

"A Town within a Forest" – the motto of Washington Grove, a tiny (pop. ~500) community near Railroad St next to Gaithersburg. It was originally a Methodist summer camp: No alcohol, No Dancing, No Gambling, No Theater! Now gravel paths run between rows of houses, radiating out from "The Sacred Circle" where services were held starting in 1873.


- Wednesday, September 01, 2021 at 06:55:59 (EDT)

2021-08-08 - MCRRC Groovin' Woodstock 4 Mile XC Race

~4.0 mi @ ~13.9 min/mi

"Me and some guys from school / Had a band, we tried real hard / Jimmy quit, Jody got married / Shoulda known we'd never get far!" 🤖 takes the mic and channels Bryan Adams for the small crowd. Race Director Gretchen Bolton announces that the "Groovin' Woodstock" cross-country run's theme is "Summer of '69". A Canadian applauds. At the Woodstock Equestrian Center rolling hills and broad meadows frame potholes and fragrant manure.

"I'm on drugs!" (naproxen) alludes to the classic faux-rockumentary film "Almost Famous". Tom Young joins in a pre-race area familiarization tour. Official result: 45th place of 52 finishers, 32nd of 33 males, second of three in the 65-69 male age bracket, chip time 55:11. And no falling down! (two years ago: 39:41, cf 2019-08-11 - очень холодно)
MCRRC Grooving Woodstock 4 Mile Cross Country by Dan Reichmann


- Tuesday, August 31, 2021 at 06:07:57 (EDT)

LOOPY - Nuclear Triad

http://zhurnaly.com/images/LOOPY/LOOPY_nuclear-triad_2021-08-28.jpgEach element of the "Nuclear Triad" – bombers, missiles, submarines – has its own strengths and weaknesses. A simple LOOPY cartoon can summarize those pluses and minuses and provide valuable insights into how they complement one another!

(LOOPY2 is an ultralight tool for thinking in systems ©2021 MITRE Corporation; cf Fifth Disciplinarians (2000-09-10), ...)

- Sunday, August 29, 2021 at 08:07:06 (EDT)

2021-08-07 - Be the Mr Rogers

~3.6 mi @ ~21.3 min/mi

"Be the Mister Rogers of Your Neighborhood!" suggests a mindful sign. A lawn fairy counsels "Hope", a pastel-painted bunny guards a garden, and a gnome climbs out of a tree trunk portal. 🐻y joins to discover a new cut-through between Holy Cross School and the Garrett Park Nursery. The Farmers Market offers corn, apples, and whoopie pies.


- Saturday, August 28, 2021 at 05:20:19 (EDT)

LOOPY - Technique, Tools, Talent, Training, Time


How to solve any challenge, climb any mountain, complete any task? Usually it takes a combination of factors. Technique works hand-in-hand with Tools – in fact, there's a reinforcing feedback loop between them as new methods beget new technological implementations and new technologies open the door to new methods. Both demand a combination of the human factors Talent and Training that enhance one another. And as per the "Ten Thousand Hours" rule-of-thumb, everything takes Time ...

(cf LOOPY2 is an ultralight tool for thinking in systems ©2021 MITRE Corporation, ...)

- Friday, August 27, 2021 at 07:32:33 (EDT)

2021-08-06 - Sligo Creek Crossing

~4.0 mi @ ~14.0 min/mi

"ROAD CLOSED & SIDEWALK CLOSED" – construction signage beckons where a pedestrian bridge over a Sligo Creek tributary is being rebuilt. A slightly-sketchy stream crossing doesn't have too much poison ivy bordering it. 🐻y on a "slow" training day dashes out of sight after the first mile and reappears on his way back. The sculpture "Whispers" (1992) by Steven Weitzman guards Sligo Dennis park.


- Friday, August 27, 2021 at 07:29:41 (EDT)

2021-08-05 - Sligo and Long Branch Trail

~4.0 mi @ ~16.6 min/mi

"Go Amnesty International!" Young yellow-jerseyed volunteers return the salute as they gather at a street corner on a warm Thursday afternoon. Two miles of walk-jog along the paved Sligo Creek path include at least a dozen bridges – it's hard to keep count! At the confluence with Long Branch discover a rocky-hilly return trail: crawl under deadfalls, skirt poison ivy patches, and teeter over a couple of slightly sketchy-slippery stream crossings. Flashback to treks in years past and visits to friends (e.g., 2018-03-11 - Mole Mural)


- Thursday, August 26, 2021 at 06:38:56 (EDT)

LOOPY - Oscillators


A swing, a mass on a spring, a vibrating string, an electrical circuit with a coil and a capacitor – all are oscillators. If there's no friction or resistance to slow the system, oscillations persist. With a little damping, activity rings down slowly. When there's a lot of energy dissipation, the system stops quickly. Harmonic Motion!

(LOOPY2 is an ultralight tool for thinking in systems ©2021 MITRE Corporation; cf LOOPY - Learn, Work, Save (2021-06-19), LOOPY - Throw a Ball (2021-08-17), LOOPY - Revolution vs Stability (2021-08-19), LOOPY - Decay Rates (2021-08-21), LOOPY - Foxes, Rabbits, and Grass (2021-08-23), ...)

- Wednesday, August 25, 2021 at 17:58:40 (EDT)

2021-08-01 - Long Run Escort

~3.8 mi @ ~13.7 min/mi

"We broke into your house and enjoyed your ice cream – thank you!" 🤖 text-jokes as he passes near Chez 🦀. After a false start along the wrong path 🐻y is found on Beach Dr a third of the way through his humid Sunday morning trek. The twins keep each other company for a couple of miles. A big deer dashes off into the woods.


- Wednesday, August 25, 2021 at 17:14:09 (EDT)

2021-07-31 - Dr Moon

~9.4 min@ ~18.9 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/arty/moon-stars-stethoscope-urgent-care_2021-07-31.jpg"... 'Tis but a scratch – ask for me to-morrow, and you shall find me a grave man!" quoth a nip-victim, garbling the Bard. A playful greyhound makes new friends in North Four Corners Park; the tale expands in retelling to a heroic dogfight. Geese monitor the finish line for a 2:10 lap at the track, payment in advance for Starbucks iced coffee. A moon-physician wears a star-stethoscope at the all-night urgent care center. Midges, or maybe tadpoles, tickle the surface of a pond.

"Beyond Competition?" International relations (and human life in general) might be far more productive if cooperation replaced fighting. "Scaling?" How can little children (and adults) learn about great distances in space and time, cosmology, evolution, etc.? "Where do Unicorns come from?" 🔥 & 🐻y explain the Facts of Life for legendary creatures to 🤖. "Enterprise Risk Management – so we have the press releases ready!" Somebody recently took a course in ERM under the misapprehension it was compulsory. Oops!


- Tuesday, August 24, 2021 at 07:03:42 (EDT)

2021-07-30 - Sandberg Learning Center

~3.9 mi @ ~14.0 min/mi

"Wonder where that path goes?" A narrow dirt track up a steep hillside beckons. Explore! From the Twinbrook Connector Trail an overgrown cut-through emerges at Rock Creek Woods. Friday evening rush-hour traffic is busy on Veirs Mill Rd so meander uphill, jaywalk near the public library, and discover the Carl Sandberg Learning Center. Another dead-end road? Explore! A slightly sketchy deer path joins Meadow Hall Dr and Pinneberg Ave. Survey the warning track around the softball fields behind Broome Middle School. Mourn the broken water fountain at the tennis courts. Flashback to 2005-11-13 - Rock Creek Park Marathon and Relay and 2010-08-01 - Rock Creek Trail on the semi-scary Linthicum St metal-mesh bridge over Rock Creek. Close the loop and proceed to pick up hot-and-sour soup at China Bistro!


- Tuesday, August 24, 2021 at 06:51:20 (EDT)

LOOPY - Foxes, Rabbits, and Grass


Grass grows. Rabbits eat grass and make more rabbits. Foxes thrive by eating rabbits. And, after a while, rabbits and foxes get old and die. A super-simple Systems Thinking model exhibits fascinating behavior! Populations rise and fall, lagging each other in their cycles, gradually increasing over time. This Foxes-Rabbits-Grass simulation is included in LOOPY under the "Models" menu. Play with it, change the weights on the arrows or the starting values of the nodes, and see what happens!

(LOOPY2 is an ultralight tool for thinking in systems ©2021 MITRE Corporation; cf LOOPY - Learn, Work, Save (2021-06-19), LOOPY - Throw a Ball (2021-08-17), LOOPY - Revolution vs Stability (2021-08-19), LOOPY - Decay Rates (2021-08-21), ...)

- Monday, August 23, 2021 at 06:19:33 (EDT)

2021-07-28 - Choose Love

~2.8 mi @ ~19.9 min/mi

"Great Blue Heron!" 🐻y spies a majestic bird flying past the stormwater management pond, where ducks paddle on a warm Wednesday evening and weeds grow along the shoreline. Stacks of giant wooden discs resemble an ancient not-so-cryptocurrency token repository. A pink dragon pinwheel guards a yard, and nearby signage says, "Choose Love".


- Sunday, August 22, 2021 at 07:42:45 (EDT)

2021-07-27 - Baby Ladder

~2.5 mi @ ~13.3 min/mi

"Baby Ladder!" Code Orange air quality and temps in the low 90's make for an abridged set of slow intervals (200-400-600-400-200 meters) in lane 6 of the high school track. At the amateur baseball game the Silver Spring Takoma Thunderbolts stand at attention for the "Star Spangled Banner" played on saxophone.


- Sunday, August 22, 2021 at 07:19:35 (EDT)

LOOPY - Decay Rates

http://zhurnaly.com/images/LOOPY/LOOPY_decay-rates_2021-08-21.pngWhole, half, quarter, eighth, ... – anything that goes away at a constant fractional rate fades in the same pattern. Whatever the starting point, after one half-life there's half as much left, after two half-lives it's down to a quarter, and so forth.

That's negative feedback, radioactive decay, exponential decline, ...

(LOOPY2 is an ultralight tool for thinking in systems ©2021 MITRE Corporation; cf LOOPY - Learn, Work, Save (2021-06-19), LOOPY - Throw a Ball (2021-08-17), LOOPY - Revolution vs Stability (2021-08-19), ...)

- Saturday, August 21, 2021 at 06:12:25 (EDT)

2021-07-24 - Catalpa Siliques

~7.7 mi @ ~19.3 min/mi

"Magic Wands!" says 🔥, in a flashback to childhood games with catalpa "beanpods" (siliques, aka seed capsules) wrapped in aluminum foil. A ramble from White Flint Park via Starbucks down the Bethesda Trolley Trail passes under a giant catalpa tree, then west to Timberlawn Park. Woodland paths connect to Tuckerman, Grosvenor, and back again. 🐻y & 🥃 & 🔍 lead the way to the Garrett Park farmers market. MCRRC runners dash past on a 19 mile run. One is barefoot!


- Friday, August 20, 2021 at 05:45:35 (EDT)

2021-07-22 - Double Header Laps

~2.0 mi @ ~12.2 min/mi

"It is solved by walking or here by touching" says a sign at the Community Labyrinth, a meditative maze by the local High School. Hmmm, maybe "solved" is not quite the right word? Key insight perhaps: simply be here, now? Between the end of the first baseball game and the start of the second, walk and jog from field to track, let go of speedy expectations, stagger a mile, and return just in time for the National Anthem. Play ball!


- Friday, August 20, 2021 at 05:42:27 (EDT)

LOOPY - Revolution vs Stability

http://zhurnaly.com/images/LOOPY/LOOPY_insurgency_stability_2021-08-19.pngSystems Thinking shows how complex situations can teeter on a knife-edge before toppling one way or another, based on small imbalances between competing forces, feedback loops, and time delays. Talking about a revolution, for instance, or an avalanche – what matters is not the latest move in a long game, or the final snowflake that lands ...

(LOOPY2 is an ultralight tool for thinking in systems ©2021 MITRE Corporation; cf Instability (1999-08-20), Fifth Disciplinarians (2000-09-10), Feedback Loops and Delay Lines (2010-11-10), LOOPY - Learn, Work, Save (2021-06-19), LOOPY - Throw a Ball (2021-08-17), ...)

- Thursday, August 19, 2021 at 07:22:02 (EDT)

2021-07-20 - Balance, Calm, and Love

~1.8 mi @ ~16.3 min/mi

"Sure, you can do anything!" A Takoma Park policeman gives 🤖 carte blanche on a warm Tuesday evening. A big deer dashes away from tiny Hefner Park. The steep path leads down to a stream valley (cf 2021-05-25 - Takoma Piney Branch Park) and through scrubby brush to the middle school, where a baseball coach plays catch with a student. Sidewalk art encourages balance, calm, and love.


- Wednesday, August 18, 2021 at 07:07:29 (EDT)

LOOPY - Throw a Ball

http://zhurnaly.com/images/LOOPY/LOOPY_throw-a-ball_2021-08-17.pngThrow a ball up – it rises and falls, along a parabolic arc. Throw a ball faster and it goes farther and higher. Why?

Hint: gravity (red node) pulls downward (minus sign on the arrow) at a constant rate, so vertical velocity (green node) decreases at a constant rate; horizontal velocity (not shown) is constant; and a ball's position changes moment-by-moment proportional to its velocity. Hmmmm, now you know Calculus!

LOOPY, used to make the above cartoon, is an ultralight tool that allows fast sketch-up of mental models – simple simulations that help:

The original LOOPY is free software by Nicky Case; LOOPY2 is an enhanced version ©2021 MITRE Corporation. More to follow ...

(cf Fifth Disciplinarians (2000-09-10), Thinking in Systems (2017-11-03), Systems Thinking Icebergs (2019-06-27), Learn-Work-Save Feedback Loop (2021-06-19), ...)

- Tuesday, August 17, 2021 at 08:17:01 (EDT)

2021-07-18 - All about Fashion

~2.1 mi @ ~14.0 min/mi

"At our pace, it's all about fashion and looking good!" says 🤖 to the lady near the turnaround, as she fixes the shirt tag at the back of her neck so it doesn't stick up. Cool Sunday morning weather is a welcome surprise for the early miles of 🐻y's long run.


- Monday, August 16, 2021 at 06:41:26 (EDT)

2021-07-17 - Best Friends

~9.4 mi @ ~18.8 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/walk/BFFs_heart-shaped_leaf.jpg"Three Unicorns!" 🦄 🦄 🦄 Top rating for a Saturday adventure ramble, starting at sunrise from Fletchers Cove. Head downstream on the CCT to Georgetown for coffee, alternating minutes to jog and recover. On the waterfront a pigeon walks the meditative labyrinth. A heart-shaped leaf says it all.

"This isn't TOO illegal!" The Palisades Trolley Trail is closed at its southwest end, but big holes in fences allow cut-through access to the Glover-Archbold Trail. 🔥 remembers running it decades ago. Reservoir Rd leads to a tony-historic Foxhall neighborhood. A dog-walker offers directions and points out the difference between "Q Place" and "Q St". After several short-cuts (!) into dead-ends, plus a stroll through the Georgetown Day School grounds, we re-encounter her at the trailhead she tried to direct us to!

"Acts of service for others are really gifts to Yourself!" Philosophy goes meta, with discussion of the "Individuation" superpower-strength (seeing uniqueness in all individuals) and the lure of one-upsmanship. Banter is strong: "I'm an open book!" – "Ah, that's the impression that you give so masterfully!" – "Don't even think of apologizing for being late!" – "I wasn't!"

Back on the Palisades Trail narrow openings in underbrush lead past lovely multi-million-dollar homes via rugged byways, stream crossings, rocks and roots, a trip-and-fall (no harm!), and the Glass Forest art installation. Heat and humidity make for dehydration; cool Gatorade from the bait shop is welcome. Debate who pays: "Oooh, now you're playing one of my own cards on me! You win, I must accept your gift graciously." Thank goodness for good friends!


- Sunday, August 15, 2021 at 08:20:35 (EDT)

Irrational Exuberance

Professor (and Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics winner, 2013) Robert Shiller's book Irrational Exuberance (originally 2000, with newer versions in 2005 and 2015) does a methodical job of exploring psychological factors behind market "bubbles", mainly focusing on corporate stocks and housing prices. From the preface to the second edition:

... this book [is] about trying to understand the change in thinking of the people whose actions ultimately drive the markets. It is about the psychology of speculation, about the feedback mechanism that intensifies this psychology, about herd behavior that can spread through millions or even billions of people, and about the implications of such behavior for the economy and for our lives. Although the book originally focused directly on current economic events, it was, and is, about how errors of human judgment can infect even the smartest people, thanks to overconfidence, lack of attention to details, and excessive trust in the judgments of others, stemming from a failure to understand that others are not making independent judgments but are themselves following still others—the blind leading the blind.

Shiller wisely points out the dangers of paying excessive attention to market fluctuations, of distrusting social institutions, of imagining that one can become wealthy without work, and of failing to "make conservative preparations for possible bad outcomes." He also warns in the preface to the first edition:

If we exaggerate the present and future value of the stock market, then as a society we may invest too much in business start-ups and expansions, and too little in infrastructure, education, and other forms of human capital. If we think the market is worth more than it really is, we may become complacent in funding our pension plans, in maintaining our savings rate, in legislating an improved Social Security system, and in providing other forms of social insurance. We might also lose the opportunity to use our expanding finanial technology to devise new solutions to the genuine risks—to our homes, cities, and livelihoods—that we face.

Shiller's bottom line, also in the original preface:

Most investors also seem to view the stock market as a force of nature unto itself. They do not fully realize that they themselves, as a group, determine the level of the market. And they underestimate how similar to their own thinking is that of other investors. Many individual investors think that institutional investors dominate the market and that these "smart money" investors have sophisticated models to understand prices—superior knowledge. Little do they know that most institutional investors are, by and large, equally clueless about the level of the market. In short, the price level is driven to a certain extent by a self-fulfilling prophecy based on similar hunches held by a vast cross-section of large and small investors and reinforced by news media that are often content to ratify this investor-induced conventional wisdom.

... all excellent cautions, especially in the current environment of extremely high stock market prices compared to corporate earnings!

(cf The Cancer Ideology (1999-05-19), Money Wisdom (2001-05-20), Hopeful Rejoinders (2001-06-03), Pop Goes (2001-06-19), Bubble Busters (2002-02-06), Dow Theory (2002-07-27), Next Economy (2005-01-31), Later and Milder (2005-03-01), Back to Normal (2008-11-13), Odlyzko on Bubbles (2012-01-25), Boom Times Loom Soon (2012-08-30), Harry Browne Rules of Financial Safety (2019-12-24), Shiller Price Earnings Ratio (2021-03-29), Great Crash (2021-06-01), ...)

- Friday, August 13, 2021 at 06:06:57 (EDT)

2021-07-16 - Hot Sligo

~2.0 mi @ ~18.4 min/mi

"Are the kids too smart to play outside in this heat?" 🐻y notes empty basketball courts at the local park near Sligo Creek, where chalk drawings are unsmudged. 🤖 begins with a dash up Belevdere Blvd but the rest of the trek is at a stroll.


- Thursday, August 12, 2021 at 06:14:42 (EDT)

2021-07-15 - Zona de Perros

~3.6 mi @ ~13.5 min/mi

"Paint with your Pup!" says signage at the new dog park, and "Zona de Perros Grandes" near a bright canine-theme mural. Upstream walk-jog along Rock Creek Trail is shaded and less hot than the return trek through Garrett Park. Day lilies bloom.


- Thursday, August 12, 2021 at 06:11:04 (EDT)

Live in the World with Grace

From "They Used the Bible to Attack Her. She Used the Bible to Forgive Them." by Jennifer Finney Boylan, an essay about Susan Stanton, the former Largo Florida city manager who was attacked and fired in 2007 for being transgender:

Boylan writes, "... Admitting to past wrongs can help us move forward, and can keep us from being consumed by loss and hatred. But forgiveness doesn't mean that the past did not happen, or that the harm that was once done to us – or that we have done – has disappeared. In the end, it may be that forgiveness is best understood as an ongoing effort, part of a lifelong practice of trying to live in the world with grace. ..."

(cf On Grace (1999-04-10), Forgiveness and Love (1999-05-06), Light Mind (2002-08-22), Steadiness of Heart (2011-07-13), Forgiveness and Oneness (2013-10-08), Mantra - Forgiven (2016-08-02), The World According to Mister Rogers (2020-03-13), ...)

- Tuesday, August 10, 2021 at 07:21:33 (EDT)

2021-07-12 - Butterfly Summer

~3.2 mi @ ~14.5 min/mi

"To the End, and Beyond!" Begin at the end of Woodside Pkwy, walk-jog along Dale Dr to its end, take Devon Rd to its end, find a cut-through, and meander to Sligo Creek Trail. A big blue-and-black butterfly (Limenitis arthemis?) poses by the pathway on a hot Monday afternoon. A food pantry features dragon + unicorn silhouettes.


- Monday, August 09, 2021 at 07:01:21 (EDT)

2021-07-11 - Attenti al Cane

~9.4 mi @ ~17.4 min/mi

"Attention - Chien Bizarre" - "Προσοχή Σκύλος" - "Dikkat Köpek Var" - "Čuvaj Se Psa" - "Cuidado con el Perro - No lo Pise" - "Attenti al Cane" - "Warnung vor dem Hunde!", say signs on the fence. 🔥 and 🤖 philosophize as they sip iced coffee and meander around Bethesda and Chevy Chase. - "What's the opposite of Cynical, Scared, Selfish, and Small?" - "How can we help people think better?" - "How can WE think better?" - "Why are we here?" - "Can we run to the next STOP sign?" - Sunday sunrise brings many good questions, few easy answers.

"The next time they emerge I'll be dead!" says a cheerful lady picking up fallen branches killed by cicada Brood X. Optimistic dogs tug on leashes. A skeptical cat ambles toward the street, then pauses to show that it won't come when called.

"The world seems calm, but look again - it's a tornado!" Things aren't always as they seem. Zoom in to the subatomic or pull back to a cosmic scale - surprises await! 🐻y begins a tempo run, escorted for the first mile before he dashes away.


- Sunday, August 08, 2021 at 05:29:59 (EDT)

Four Golden Lessons

From physicist Steven Weinberg (1933-2021), thoughts for students and researchers (and everybody else!) in a short essay in Nature (2003) titled "Four Golden Lessons", based on a commencement talk at McGill University:

(cf Research and Life (2000-09-07), Time to Read (2003-03-08), Great Thoughts Time (2013-11-29), Tolerate Ambiguity (2018-02-01), Hard, Hard Problem (2021-03-21), ...)

- Friday, August 06, 2021 at 06:06:16 (EDT)

2021-07-13 - 16th Odds Alley

2.2 mi @ ~15.4 min/mi

"Juniper Trailhead" says an online map. The brick-stone turnaround at the end of Juniper St NW in DC leads to a new path that joins Rock Creek Trail, and thence Pine Trail to Holly Trail with a slightly sketchy scramble to Arizona Ave and 16th St NW. Oddly-named "16th Odds Alley" helps close the hot Tuesday afternoon circuit.


- Thursday, August 05, 2021 at 05:23:05 (EDT)

2021-07-10 - Mango Lassi

~ 4.0 mi @ ~24 min/mi

"My wife would shoot me if I brought a pumpkin-flavored one into the house!" says a Whoopie Pie connoisseur. At the Garrett Park Farmers Market 🐻y snags an ice-cold mango lassi. The hike back finds new cut-throughs in an industrial zone at the dead-end of Wyaconda Rd, but is ultimately stymied by what appears to be an impenetrable barrier. Later, looking down through a gap in the bushes by Parklawn Dr, a cache of empty beer bottles points the way to a steep hidden path bordered with poison ivy. Who knew? Near the end of the Saturday morning walkabout comrade 🐧 drives past and greets us. Small world!


- Wednesday, August 04, 2021 at 05:59:31 (EDT)

2021-07-09 - Midsummer Nights Mile

~2.4 mi @ ~13.8 min/mi

"Where did you get that outfit? I want it!" says the lady warming up before the Midsummer Night's Mile track meet and admiring 🤖's MCRRC classic club colors. "You can have the singlet," he says, "but please don't take the shorts, Ma'am!" Thunderstorms leave the air heavy hot and humid. After 4x200m intervals and a recovery walkabout the race begins. Official result: 9:42.4, a happy new PW (Personal Worst) with minimal knee pain and at a pace that accelerates lap-by-lap. It's good enough for 107th of 122, fifth of six in the male 65-69 year bracket, ahead of a cute 3-year-old who runs holding his Mom's hand. 💕MCRRC Midsummer Night's Mile


- Tuesday, August 03, 2021 at 05:49:37 (EDT)

Cup Full of Love

A beautiful-wise metaphor:

You are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and bumps into you or shakes your arm, making you spill your coffee everywhere.

Why did you spill the coffee? "Because someone bumped into me!" Wrong answer.

You spilled the coffee because there was coffee in your cup.

Had there been tea in the cup, you would have spilled tea.

Whatever is inside the cup is what will spill out.

Therefore, when life comes along and shakes you (which will happen), whatever is inside you will come out. It's easy to fake it, until you get rattled.

So we have to ask ourselves: "What's in my cup?"

When life gets tough, what spills over?

Joy, gratefulness, peace, and humility?

Anger, bitterness, harsh words, and reactions?

Life provides the cup. You choose how to fill it.

Today, let's work towards filling our cups with gratitude, forgiveness, joy, words of affirmation, kindness, gentleness, and love for others.

(attributed without evidence to Thich Nhat Hanh and shared since at least 2018 many times in various places, e.g., [1]; cf How Great Thou Art (2005-03-16), This Is Water (2009-05-21), Core Buddhism (2011-10-17), Ground of Being (2013-10-03), Buddhism and Love (2017-01-09), Mantra - Be Meta, Be Open, Be Love (2018-11-11), Distilled to Pure Love (2019-01-04), ...)

- Monday, August 02, 2021 at 05:36:00 (EDT)

2021-07-05 - Glass Forest

~3.2 mi @ ~20.5 min/mi

"Trees of broken mirrors, rusty tools, and ... old bras?" An art installation, the "Glass Forest", hides in the woods above the C&O Canal. It features fragments of found-objects that dangle on strings from branches. (2021-05-15 - Sunrise Thankfulness ramble barely missed it.) Comrade 🐻y is on a morning run along the CCT; 🤖 parks at Fletchers Cove and meets him near the Arizona Avenue trestle for a mid-course mile, then hikes back via the Palisades Trolley Trail. The Maddox Branch tunnel under Canal Rd NW is eroded and super-scary. Don't try that again solo!


- Saturday, July 31, 2021 at 05:17:47 (EDT)

2021-07-04 - Foosball Fourth

~9.6 mi @ ~16.7 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/run/Foosball_match_with_Kerry_z_2021-07-04.jpg"You have the Eye of the Tiger Mom!" Dawn Patrol spies exotic lawn sculptures of welded spark plugs, bicycle gears, rebar, armor plate, and chains. On Independence Day two laps at the track barely outpace speedy race-walking Jim Wass, who reports he did the 2006 Disney Marathon in a walk – faster than we ran it! A streetside foosball mini-match ends in a 1-1 tie. 🔥 & 🤖 honor their intentions, forgive their failures, and practice accepting praise with grace. Patriotic-clad 🐻 finishes a Sunday half-marathon joined by pacer 🥃 at mile ~5.


- Friday, July 30, 2021 at 07:47:17 (EDT)

2021-07-03 - Whoopie Pie

~8 mi @ ~18 min/mi & ~2 mi @ ~22 min/mi

"I can't count any higher!" More than 25 rabbits nibble the lawns of North Bethesda, as 🔥 & 🤖 meander at Saturday sunrise from one Starbucks to another via peaceful neighborhood paths. – "Awesome racks!" Three big bucks amble through a park. Two freckled fawns roam far from their mother doe(s). – "What's the word for the thing that attaches a set of wheels to a skateboard?" ... "A truck?" – A huge fox pauses to peer from the far side of the elementary school field. – "Look at that gate!" ..." And the spiral brick chimneys!" – A broken robin's egg rests on the path. – "What's the word for a bird leaving its shell?" ... "Hatch?" – And how can angry, closed, and damaged people be nudged toward calm, openness, and healing? – "You're doing a Power Wash today? Of yourself? Does it hurt much?"

"A Whoopie Pie is NOTHING like a Moon Pie!" says 🧽, explaining the finer points of sweet sandwiches to 🥃, 🐻, 🔥, and 🤖. (BLUF: Whoopie = Northern, cream frosting between chocolate cake discs; Moon Pie = Southern, marshmallow between graham cracker circles, all dipped in chocolate) The Garrett Park Farmers Market is instantly busy at opening time with Independence Day Eve shoppers.

(trackfile & trackfile)

- Thursday, July 29, 2021 at 06:56:12 (EDT)

The Year 2000

Leonard Richardson is a writer, software developer, and thoughtful person. Among many intriguing things in his blog is a 2008 analysis he made of predictions in the 1967 book The Year 2000: A Framework for Speculation on the Next Thirty-Three Years by Herman Kahn and A. J. Wiener. That book seems fascinating, methodologically if not for its content – and even more important is to look back at its predictions and see how they hold up a few decades later. Richardson does that, subjectively and entertainingly. He finds that "Out of 135 predictions there are 27 hits and 22 partial hits", with the 27 "hits" being (fixing a few typos, and hmmmm, there seem to be only 26 "hits"):

The failed "predictions" are also interesting. Many involve things that do (or could) exist but cost too much for widespread application. Others could arguably be true, but were written so vaguely that in Richardson's judgment they shouldn't count. Fascinating!

(cf Superforecasting (2016-02-21), Forecasting Lessons from Systems Dynamics (2017-07-05), Scenario Planning and Probabilistic Forecasting (2020-12-10), ...)

- Wednesday, July 28, 2021 at 06:17:30 (EDT)

2021-07-02 - Camino Cerrado

~2.7 mi @ ~12.3 min/mi

"Camino Cerrado!" belatedly warns the sign where 🤖 emerges from a woodsy trail. (Not that it would have mattered!) Malcolm King Park is a lovely 70+ acre woods along upper Muddy Branch in Gaithersburg. Gently rolling paths offer welcome shade on a Friday afternoon. Intervals of 2 minute jogging + 1 minute recovery make a pretty pace chart. A bright cardinal flees into the brush.


- Tuesday, July 27, 2021 at 06:13:01 (EDT)

2021-07-01 - Woodlin Playground

~2.6 mi @ ~13.3 min/mi

"Don't fence me in!" Asphalt art lures prey into a playground behind Woodlin Elementary School, where locked gates and narrow gaps between fence-posts prevent escape. Ah, but they forgot the hole in the hedge at the top of the hill! High humidity on Thursday afternoon makes for a humbling neighborhood tour, with 60 second intervals of alternating jog and walk. A "normal" person advises, "You should drink more water!"


- Monday, July 26, 2021 at 06:31:34 (EDT)

2021-06-30 - Small Wonders of the World

~1.0 mi @ ~17.0 min/mi

"They're much smaller than you might think!" Apparently the Great Pyramids, the Gateway Arch, the Eiffel Tower, and the Washington Monument aren't quite as monumental as legend says. Gaithersburg beats Silver Spring at amateur baseball, and there's half an hour until game #2 – just enough time to shamble over to the track and run a hot lap, with temps in the low '90s.


- Sunday, July 25, 2021 at 06:34:57 (EDT)

Power of Intention

From A Morning Cup of Yoga, Jane Goad Trechsel thoughts on the value of aspiration:

... Intentions have great power. We all get off track and lose the path we want to be on. If we keep coming back to our intention, eventually the road will go that way. Here are some sample intentions, but you will know what your heart yearns for.

... and intentions need not become narrow goals to cling to!

(cf Finding the Quiet (2009-12-05),Without Effort, Analysis, or Expectation (2010-08-04), Intentional Attention (2014-07-29), Aspiration, not Expectation (2014-12-12), Aspire without Attachment (2015-12-28), No Goals (2016-06-08), ...)

- Saturday, July 24, 2021 at 06:19:15 (EDT)

2021-06-29 - National Park Seminary Statuary

~4.7 mi @ ~13.8 min/mi

National Park Seminary mermaid fountain and cicada tree damage"The statues are still there!" At 90°F+ a Tuesday evening sunset circuit is sweaty and slow. Joan of Arc is in the shade; the fountain of seahorses and mermaids casts a lovely long shadow in front of trees attacked by cicada Brood X.
Initial attempts to jog 60 sec + walk 60 sec decelerate after a couple of miles. Neighborhood daylilies open wide.http://zhurnaly.com/images/arty/daylilies_2021-06-29.jpg


- Friday, July 23, 2021 at 07:13:42 (EDT)

2021-06-27 - Go, Be

~3.8 mi @ ~17.8 min/mi

"Go Be!" says the fence around Bethesda Outdoor Pool where the Barracudas swim and fill the parking lot. 🐻-y gets one of the last open spaces; 🥃 leaves her car at the secret lot on Little Falls Parkway. A warm and cheery Sunday morning walk-jog ensues.


- Thursday, July 22, 2021 at 05:39:01 (EDT)

2021-06-26 - Cicada Damage

~3.0 mi @ ~17.4 min/mi

"Dead branches are from larvae feeding, before they drop to the ground and burrow in for 17 years!" 🥃 explains cicada Facts of Life to 🐻 during a Saturday morning walk-run. Showers are hyperlocal, with downpours a few miles to the west and dry ground in Garrett Park. 🥃 recalls a humid trek a decade ago (2010-08-21_-_Megan's_Loop_Plus) and the lessons it taught on patience and pace control. At the farmers market "Free Range Eggs" don't seem to be ranging very far from their cartons!


- Thursday, July 22, 2021 at 05:37:08 (EDT)

Closeness Generation Questions

A psychological experiment "The Experimental Generation of Closeness: A Procedure and Some Preliminary Findings" (Arthur Aron et al., Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, April 1997) describes a "practical methodology for ... creating closeness" based on 45 minutes of "self-disclosure and relationship-building tasks" performed by a pair of individuals. The study uses three dozen questions to provoke the sharing of ideas and experiences. It was recently described in an abridged form in [1] and half a dozen years ago in [2] and [3]. The questions are quite fascinating:

Set I

1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
4. What would constitute a "perfect" day for you?
5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

Set II

13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
14. Is there something that you've dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven't you done it?
15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
16. What do you value most in a friendship?
17. What is your most treasured memory?
18. What is your most terrible memory?
19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
20. What does friendship mean to you?
21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of 5 items.
23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people's?
24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?


25. Make three true "we" statements each. For instance, "We are both in this room feeling ..."
26. Complete this sentence: "I wish I had someone with whom I could share ..."
27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
28. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you've just met.
29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven't you told them yet?
34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner's advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.

... and the best answer to many of these is, perhaps, "I don't know!"

(cf Check Mate 1 (2001-11-26), Check Mate 2 (2001-11-30), Life Partner Criteria (2014-05-15), ...)

- Tuesday, July 20, 2021 at 07:05:18 (EDT)

2021-06-25 - Sligo Survey

~3.4 mi @ ~13.4 min/mi

"Can you run any slower?" 🐻y asks a question with many interpretations! He starts behind 🤖 and catches up after a mile. Sligo Creek Parkway is closed to cars late Friday and the lanes are wide; nevertheless a hasty cyclist almost collides with a walker. Crepuscular creatures are out early as sunset shines final beams on an alabaster statue of the Virgin Mary overlooking the valley.


- Tuesday, July 20, 2021 at 06:35:52 (EDT)

2021-06-24 - Spit Take

~3.7 mi @ ~14.2 min/mi

"Max Scherzer was right!" says 🤖. Spitballs are tough; spitting requires practice. Ditto hill climbs, as two repeats on Belvedere Blvd remind. 🐻y joins to survey Sligo Creek Trail: no turtles or geese on Friday's Eve, but lots of runners. After a mile together the twins part ways. 30-40 seconds of jogging with 90 second walk breaks makes a sinusoidal pace graph.


- Monday, July 19, 2021 at 05:58:49 (EDT)

2021-06-22 - Bunny Bunny Ears

~4.4 mi @ ~13.7 min/mi

"Child, come over here. Do you have a cigarette?" asks an elderly lady on the front steps of an apartment building. Tuesday afternoon's Takoma trek leads to DC's Calvin Coolidge Senior High School track, where a football team practices pushing heavy objects across the turf. A lap in lane 7 at ~10.0 min/mi pace amuses the onlookers. Lawn art features a big wooden bird guarding its nest and a bunny doing bunny-ears behind another bunny.http://zhurnaly.com/images/walk/Bunny-bunny-ears_DC_2021-06-22.jpg


- Sunday, July 18, 2021 at 07:36:54 (EDT)

Morning Cup of Yoga

Jane Goad Trechsel in A Morning Cup of Yoga (2002) writes about how yoga helped her "... generally settle down and become calmer, less judgmental, and less caught up in the little dramas of life." She emphasizes liberation and optimism:

... I learned that when the negative voice inside said, "I can't do this!" another, wiser voice could say instead, "This looks difficult. What part of it can I do?" This was a completely different attitude, which freed me to try anything. ...

... and focuses on possibility, awareness, joy in the present:

... Stand quietly, appreciating the gentle, natural flowing rhythm of your breath and what your body could do today. When at last you open your eyes, let them be soft and settled back into the skull, so that you look out at the world from a deep place within. Open your ears and allow hearing, noting the various sounds that arise and pass away. Experience the world directly.

You may occasionally experience brief moments of absolute stillness and peace, feeling yourself at home in your body and at home with your breath, in the safe harbor of your deepest self.

... beautiful wisdom!

(cf Yoga and Mudra (2010-08-08), Yoga for Busy People (2011-01-03), Let Go (2013-10-18), ...)

- Saturday, July 17, 2021 at 05:08:54 (EDT)

2021-06-20 - Rabbit, Meet Track

~9.3 mi @ ~17.9 min/mi

Barry and Kerry at Silver Spring International Middle School"A fellow Glaswegian javelin-thrower tried out for the US Olympic team last week," 🐻y reports on a steamy Sunday morning, and reminisces about legendary Hayward Field where he finished a marathon a few years ago. Some runner-dude named "Prefontaine" reputedly did shorter distances there, for some coach-dude named "Bowerman". 🐻y leads 🔥 down Sligo Creek Trail to the middle school for an anticipatory victory lap in his Missoula Virtual Half. 🤖 follows the duo, diverting to test a water fountain and then finding a short-cut to arrive first.
At sunrise Strava's GPS awards 🔥 & 🤖 a free bonus mile inside Starbucks as they get iced coffee. They set their cups carefully on the bleacher steps before a 400m calibration circuit at the cushioned track. Much room for improvement! "Now i know how you and 🦖 felt when you were just starting to train and i was your 🐇", says 🤖.http://zhurnaly.com/images/run/Demonic_sundial_2021-06-20.jpg


- Friday, July 16, 2021 at 06:35:41 (EDT)

2021-06-19 - Run from Roses

~1.0 mi @ ~14.0 min/mi & ~2.4 mi @ ~11.6 min/mi

"Water ahead! Less than a mile to go! Mostly downhill!" Crew at the aid station shout encouragement to participants in the woman-only MCRRC "Run for Roses" 5k race on Saturday morning. After they've passed by 🤖 helps pick up empty cups, takes down signs, and walks-jogs back to the start-finish area. A few late cicadas flit, and another six-legged friend helps with data entry on a club computer.

"WARNING: Do Not Eat Infill Mix in Artificial Turf as It May Be Harmful to Your Health!" cautions the sign at Blair High School football field that evening. At the cushioned track 6 x 400m intervals flow, thanks to clouds and breezes and a few light raindrops, with robins and wrens watching from the grass. Miniature Eiffel Tower, Great Pyramid, Washington Monument, and Gateway Arch decorate an outdoor dining area. College amateur baseball is the post-run cooldown.

(trackfile & trackfile)

- Thursday, July 15, 2021 at 06:46:24 (EDT)

2021-06-17 - Kemp Mill Overshoot

~3.4 mi @ ~13.4 min/mi

"You missed the turn!" 🐻 runs by the narrow path from Ladd St to Sligo Creek while 🤖, sitting cool-down in the car, is distracted and doesn't notice. Half a mile later they find each other. Small world! Earlier on Thursday evening 🤖 walks 90 seconds and jogs 30 seconds for a happy Kemp Mill neighborhood loop. By chance Tristram and Yuval greet him in the final mile.


- Thursday, July 15, 2021 at 06:40:41 (EDT)

Best Frever

Silly slang shared almost a decade ago:

Best Frever

... cited in the "Urban Dictionary" as Best Frever:

What you call someone who's not your friEND (because even friEND has an end to it), but a person that will be there for you forever (because forever doesnt end in END). A person that is like your sister/brother, not someone that will stop being there for you when you're out of high school or college, but someone who will continue to be there for you forever. "You're not my best friEND, you're my best frever."

(grammar & typos fixed; cf Mantra - Be Your Own Best Friend (2016-02-16), Unicorn - Best Friends, ...)

- Wednesday, July 14, 2021 at 07:07:41 (EDT)

2021-06-15 - Taco Tuesday Trek

~4.2 mi @ ~13.7 min/mi

"Stations of the Cross!" Meditative marker-reminders are overgrown with brush around their bases, images faded, at the edge of the woods west of St Andrew Apostle School. Traffic backs up along Arcola Ave as 🤖 jogs 30 seconds and walks 90 seconds on a Taco Tuesday afternoon mission: deliver letters to #1 Son! A turtle family suns itself on a log in Pine Lake. Big gray goslings nestle near their parents on the shoreside.


- Tuesday, July 13, 2021 at 06:30:50 (EDT)

2021-06-13 - Sunrise Cicada Slalom

~2.5 mi @ ~12.9 min/mi & ~2.9 mi @ ~19.2 min/mi

"Cicada steeplechase, lane 2!" Seventeen-year-locusts from Brood X mandate don't-tread-on-me swerving skills at the high school track early Sunday morning. After five laps with half-lap recovery breaks, 🤖 joins Mike, Gretchen, Karen, and Katherine for a cooldown walk. Then it's time to meet 🦀 for a stroll along Sligo Creek, with 🐻 & 🥃 running ahead and circling back.

(trackfile & trackfile)

- Monday, July 12, 2021 at 07:08:42 (EDT)

2021-06-12 - Needwood Nessie and Bethesda Banter

~2.8 mi @ ~22.3 min/mi & ~3.7 mi - ~23.4 min/mi

"Crow!" - "Owl!" - "Tiny Loch Ness Monster!" - 🦘spies the first two perched nearby during the first mile of a Saturday dawn walk. 🤖 notes the last on the surface of Lake Needwood, neck curved S-shape. Then it turns into a cormorant and takes off. Hmmmm! The platform in the center of a playground web tips and pours rainwater as someone attempts a climb. Oops!

"No, just marathons and halfs!" An hour later, 🦀 disavows any plans to do ultras; 🐻 & 🤖 suggest reconsideration. The longer the run, the nicer the people! Bethesda Outdoor Pool parking lot is full on Saturday morning as swim team activities recommence. A happy meander northward encounters sporty wheels and arty fountain sculpture.

(trackfile & trackfile)

- Sunday, July 11, 2021 at 05:07:25 (EDT)

2021-06-10 - Pre-Atonement

~1.7 mi @ ~12.1 min/mi

"Was that thunder, or my stomach?" Thursday late-afternoon rain brings puddles to the old middle-school asphalt track. A grounds-keeper shovels mud off the long-jump path and then, to the smell of gasoline, wields a weed-whacker and trims the baseball field border. A young runner does sit-ups on the bleachers between sprints. A couple shares one umbrella as they walk laps. Four soggy 400m intervals at ~9 min/mi pace pre-atone for gyros and pizza.


- Sunday, July 11, 2021 at 04:59:44 (EDT)

William Stafford Wisdom

Clues from poet William Stafford (1914-1993) on some important things:

Thank you for those gifts, and many others, Mr Stafford – and for the example you set of soft, steady sharing ...

(cf In My Journal (2005-01-29), The Way It Is (2021-03-19), When I Met My Muse (2021-05-06), Aggressive Courtesy (2021-05-20), ...)

- Friday, July 09, 2021 at 05:54:04 (EDT)

2021-06-09 - RIO Lakefront and Downtown Crown

~2.9 mi @ ~19.1 min/mi

"Does it say 'Hope'? Or 'Nope'?" Wednesday afternoon's sunny-sweaty walkabout, awaiting carry-out 🦬 at Ted's Montana Grill in Gaithersburg, finds window art by @lwart = Luther Wright = "Louie Wri" in a tony zone of shops. An enthusiastic birder named Kofi, armed with new Nikon D6 and 200-500mm long lens, monitors an artificial pond. He points out a juvenile Great Blue Heron and shares recent pics. A cut-through behind tennis courts offers escape from a fancy 'hood. A cicada lands on a pink shirt and photobombs the scratched-thumb "Best Blood" after a brushy downhill scramble. Oops!


- Friday, July 09, 2021 at 05:34:32 (EDT)

2021-06-07 - Fruity Shopping

~1.6 mi @ ~22.1 min/mi

"Rugelach and macaroons!" An evening walk to the neighborhood grocery store for a few apples and ... uh ... chocolate is a fruit, isn't it? ... and so are peanuts, no? ... coconuts, obviously yes!


- Wednesday, July 07, 2021 at 06:56:54 (EDT)

2021-06-06 - Dr Fonda Sighting

~6.5 mi @ ~15.2 min/mi

"Heck-fire!" - "Are you actually allowed to run?" - "Most physicians are far too certain!" - "Shall we try to reach the next patch of shade?" - "You move like Grandpa McCoy!" - "A cicada flew into my shirt!" Flippant banter flows fast as 🥃 & 🐻 & 🤖 walk/trot along Rock Creek, joined by 🫕 in a happy-fortuitous encounter. At the turnaround a sign announces the end of Closure – which in psychology means the urge for sure answers and the fear of ambiguity. Maybe, or maybe not? Zen suggests: "Not Always So!"


- Tuesday, July 06, 2021 at 07:00:33 (EDT)

For back issues of the ^zhurnal see Volumes v.01 (April-May 1999), v.02 (May-July 1999), v.03 (July-September 1999), v.04 (September-November 1999), v.05 (November 1999 - January 2000), v.06 (January-March 2000), v.07 (March-May 2000), v.08 (May-June 2000), v.09 (June-July 2000), v.10 (August-October 2000), v.11 (October-December 2000), v.12 (December 2000 - February 2001), v.13 (February-April 2001), v.14 (April-June 2001), 0.15 (June-August 2001), 0.16 (August-September 2001), 0.17 (September-November 2001), 0.18 (November-December 2001), 0.19 (December 2001 - February 2002), 0.20 (February-April 2002), 0.21 (April-May 2002), 0.22 (May-July 2002), 0.23 (July-September 2002), 0.24 (September-October 2002), 0.25 (October-November 2002), 0.26 (November 2002 - January 2003), 0.27 (January-February 2003), 0.28 (February-April 2003), 0.29 (April-June 2003), 0.30 (June-July 2003), 0.31 (July-September 2003), 0.32 (September-October 2003), 0.33 (October-November 2003), 0.34 (November 2003 - January 2004), 0.35 (January-February 2004), 0.36 (February-March 2004), 0.37 (March-April 2004), 0.38 (April-June 2004), 0.39 (June-July 2004), 0.40 (July-August 2004), 0.41 (August-September 2004), 0.42 (September-November 2004), 0.43 (November-December 2004), 0.44 (December 2004 - February 2005), 0.45 (February-March 2005), 0.46 (March-May 2005), 0.47 (May-June 2005), 0.48 (June-August 2005), 0.49 (August-September 2005), 0.50 (September-November 2005), 0.51 (November 2005 - January 2006), 0.52 (January-February 2006), 0.53 (February-April 2006), 0.54 (April-June 2006), 0.55 (June-July 2006), 0.56 (July-September 2006), 0.57 (September-November 2006), 0.58 (November-December 2006), 0.59 (December 2006 - February 2007), 0.60 (February-May 2007), 0.61 (April-May 2007), 0.62 (May-July 2007), 0.63 (July-September 2007), 0.64 (September-November 2007), 0.65 (November 2007 - January 2008), 0.66 (January-March 2008), 0.67 (March-April 2008), 0.68 (April-June 2008), 0.69 (July-August 2008), 0.70 (August-September 2008), 0.71 (September-October 2008), 0.72 (October-November 2008), 0.73 (November 2008 - January 2009), 0.74 (January-February 2009), 0.75 (February-April 2009), 0.76 (April-June 2009), 0.77 (June-August 2009), 0.78 (August-September 2009), 0.79 (September-November 2009), 0.80 (November-December 2009), 0.81 (December 2009 - February 2010), 0.82 (February-April 2010), 0.83 (April-May 2010), 0.84 (May-July 2010), 0.85 (July-September 2010), 0.86 (September-October 2010), 0.87 (October-December 2010), 0.88 (December 2010 - February 2011), 0.89 (February-April 2011), 0.90 (April-June 2011), 0.91 (June-August 2011), 0.92 (August-October 2011), 0.93 (October-December 2011), 0.94 (December 2011-January 2012), 0.95 (January-March 2012), 0.96 (March-April 2012), 0.97 (April-June 2012), 0.98 (June-September 2012), 0.99 (September-November 2012), 0.9901 (November-December 2012), 0.9902 (December 2012-February 2013), 0.9903 (February-March 2013), 0.9904 (March-May 2013), 0.9905 (May-July 2013), 0.9906 (July-September 2013), 0.9907 (September-October 2013), 0.9908 (October-December 2013), 0.9909 (December 2013-February 2014), 0.9910 (February-May 2014), 0.9911 (May-July 2014), 0.9912 (July-August 2014), 0.9913 (August-October 2014), 0.9914 (November 2014-January 2015), 0.9915 (January-April 2015), 0.9916 (April-July 2015), 0.9917 (July-September 2015), 0.9918 (September-November 2015), 0.9919 (November 2015-January 2016), 0.9920 (January-April 2016), 0.9921 (April-June 2016), 0.9922 (June-July 2016), 0.9923 (July-September 2016), 0.9924 (October-December 2016), 0.9925 (January-February 2017), 0.9926 (March-April 2017), 0.9927 (May-June 2017), 0.9928 (June-October 2017), 0.9929 (October-December 2017), 0.9930 (December 2017-March 2018), 0.9931 (March-April 2018), 0.9932 (May-July 2018), 0.9933 (July-September 2018), 0.9934 (September-December 2018), 0.9935 (December 2018-February 2019), 0.9936 (February-April 2019), 0.9937 (April-July 2019), 0.9938 (July-August 2019), 0.9939 (August-November 2019), 0.9940 (November 2019-February 2020), 0.9941 (February-June 2020), 0.9942 (June-August 2020), 0.9943 (August-November 2020), 0.9944 (November 2020-March 2021), 0.9945 (March-July 2021), 0.9946 (July-September 2021), 0.9947 (September 2021-December 2021), 0.9948 (December 2021-August 2022), 0.9949 (August 2022-May 2023), ... Current Volume. Send comments and suggestions to z (at) his.com. Thank you! (Copyright © 1999-2022 by Mark Zimmermann.)